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JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit (Maple Films Edit)

eldusto84

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Hi everyone, this is my first post on these boards but I have been following Fanedit.org for a while now. Hopefully those of you interested in seeing a version of the Hobbit that's as faithful to the book as possible will follow along. I have begun working on a "purist" version of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. I have read about a number of other editors making their own versions and I'm sure my edit will be one of several floating around by the time the 3rd film is on video. However, many of the versions being worked on now still plan to include scenes/characters/elements that were not in the book. Some elements cannot be removed entirely due to their integration with the plot, but I will do my best to make this a more faithful adaption of Tolkien's work. Certain scenes that WERE in the book may also be cut, since they were portrayed in a poor or silly way (I'm looking at you, Stone Giants).

Right now I am planning to compress the trilogy into ONE MOVIE. I am sure that this will make for a long film, but let's not forget that Return of the King Extended Edition was 240 minutes long! That is my target running time for JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit (that's the new version title I'm going with). There will be an old-school intermission somewhere near the 2-hour mark, probably when Bilbo & Company meet Bard for the first time. This is in line with where Peter Jackson intended to split the Hobbit when it was still just two films.

Anyways, I'm already finished with An Unexpected Journey. Working off a nice Bluray rip with 5.1 audio. The original 180-minute long film has been cut down to about 90 minutes. Here are a few things I have changed from An Unexpected Journey:

- No Dale/Erebor prologue. The dwarves' backstory and plight is already explained at Bag End and in other scenes, so there's no reason for the prologue to exist.
- Bilbo's opening lines remain, but Frodo is removed
- Some dwarf silliness is gone from the Bag End sequence (just a few shots)
- No Radagast or Dol Guldur scenes
- Azog for the most part is gone
- Troll scene is cut down, some silliness is removed
- Daylight Orc chase is gone
- No White Council/Galadriel/Saruman
- Stone Giants are gone
- All scenes with Gollum are untouched!
- Goblintown escape is cut down drastically, removed CGI silliness
- I have chosen to remove the tree fight/eagle rescue because the scene is too drawn out and Jackson obviously beefed it up late in production in order to have some sort of action climax.
- Film ends with Bilbo meeting back up with the dwarves outside Goblintown, and he still gives his nice little speech. Orcs/goblins, presumably from Goblintown, suddenly show up and the party begins to run...however the beginning of the chase will transition into the beginning of Desolation of Smaug where they are chased into Beorn's house.

-Here are the edits for Desolation of Smaug. This was a 160-min film that is now 80 minutes. I'm pretty much finished with this...

- No prologue at the Prancing Pony
- No Dol Guldur/Necromancer subplot. It will be mentioned in passing by Beorn and will also be shown in a very brief montage of shots when Gandalf sees the mark of Mordor outside Mirkwood.  
- No Radagast
- Legolas/Tauriel have to be cut down significantly, but not entirely. Legolas and his superhuman CGI acrobatics are pretty much gone.
- Barrel chase was too cartoonish, that was cut in half at least. Bombur Barrel spin? Legolas tap dancing on dwarves' heads? Come on.
- Kili is still shot with an arrow but it's not a "Morgul shaft." Tauriel does not come to Laketown to heal him.
- Laketown scenes are shortened, but certain scenes with Bard will stay because his character honestly needed some fleshing out in the book.
- NO ORCS IN LAKETOWN.
- Bilbo's initial encounter with Smaug is mostly intact, but I have drastically altered the climax with the dwarves. No hide-and-seek in the mountain, which made Smaug look like a doofus. The furnaces being ignited are still there, only because I need to explain why Smaug crashes out of the Lonely Mountain covered in gold. So the golden dwarf statue remains in the film, but all the other silliness that precedes it (throwing flash grenades at Smaug, Thorin surfing on molten gold, etc) is gone.
- Film ends like it did in the theatrical version, with Smaug flying towards Laketown and Bilbo looking on in horror. The plan is to have this immediately cut into the Laketown attack that will be in the third Hobbit film.


I will provide periodic updates, along with a few sample scenes that I've edited. If any of you have ideas/comments/questions, I will happily field them!
 

ThrowgnCpr

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moved to in-the-works. As a new member, you'll have to submit your first edit to the academy for approval to be added to the website. There is info in our help sections. Welcome to the site :)
 

ManicGuy1989

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Sounds like fun! I was hoping someone would do this once film 3 is released.

Are/will you using the extended editions as your base? Even though AUJ is the only extended edition out at the moment.
 

Neglify

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eldusto84 said:
Working off a nice Bluray rip with 5.1 audio.

I hope you're not using a pirated BD rip, as that would violate our rules. If you made a rip off your own BD, cool, but I'd recommend not "ripping" and compressing, check out ThrowgnCpr's HD Editing Guide to learn to how to get 1:1 BD quality.

The edit sounds cool though! Very interested in seeing how this progresses. :)
 

eldusto84

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Neglify said:
I hope you're not using a pirated BD rip, as that would violate our rules.

Certainly not, I bought both Hobbit films from the store! I can show you the receipt from Target :)

Thanks for the editing guide link, there are some helpful guides in there especially for audio. I used MakeMKV and Handbrake to get my audio/video files, which are lossless. This will be my first feature-length fanedit but I've been editing professionally for several years now. I will try to get some brief sample scenes up on Youtube/Vimeo in the next few weeks.
 

eldusto84

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ManicGuy1989 said:
Are/will you using the extended editions as your base? Even though AUJ is the only extended edition out at the moment.

I am working with the Theatrical Editions. Once I watch all three EE's I may consider splicing in scenes if they are worthwhile, but the Theatrical versions are already longer than they need to be! There is one scene in Rivendell between Elrond and Bilbo that I really liked, so that may squeak in after I edit the third film next year. GAAAH, I'm so mad I have to wait that long!
 

ManicGuy1989

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eldusto84 said:
There is one scene in Rivendell between Elrond and Bilbo that I really liked

Thats what I'm talking about! Martin Freeman gets nowhere near enough screen time. Would I be correct in assuming this edit will have Bilbo be more of a main character? The films seem to give more attention to Thorin and Bard than its titular character haha.
 

eldusto84

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ManicGuy1989 said:
Would I be correct in assuming this edit will have Bilbo be more of a main character?

Absolutely, yes. My version of The Hobbit will accurately reflect its title! Even now, without the third film to work with, it is amazing to see how much better the film is. There is one truly excellent film buried beneath three, and that's what I'm trying to bring out.
 

dangermouse

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This is a GREAT cutlist. This is on my "watch" list for sure.
Any thoughts about releasing up to the end of DOS for now and then the final cut next year?
 

Neglify

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dangermouse said:
Any thoughts about releasing up to the end of DOS for now and then the final cut next year?

If you did want to do this I'd put it up on vimeo, password protected, and post it in the "workprints and previews" section. No need to "release" it early unfinished only to complete it in a year.
 

Hal9000

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This project looks great! I'll keep my eyes peeled.
 

eldusto84

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Neglify said:
If you did want to do this I'd put it up on vimeo, password protected, and post it in the "workprints and previews" section. No need to "release" it early unfinished only to complete it in a year.

That might be a good idea. Unfortunately I'm not a PLUS/PRO member on Vimeo and the thought of compressing 3 hours of video down to 500MB makes me shudder, lol. Maybe I'll try watermarking it and uploading to Youtube as Unlisted.
 

Delpheas

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I'm quite intrigued by this! I love Tolkien's work, and the Jackson films are great, but these Hobbit films do have a lot of bloat. I know for sure I'll be downloading this.
 

TV's Frink

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eldusto84 said:
That might be a good idea. Unfortunately I'm not a PLUS/PRO member on Vimeo and the thought of compressing 3 hours of video down to 500MB makes me shudder, lol.
Split it into parts to upload.
 

eldusto84

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Ok, I have a few scenes to share with all of you. There are a few minor changes to be made still (audio tweaks, the title graphic, etc) but this should at least give you an idea how I've cut things out. The quality is also suboptimal but that's only because I had to compress the files to fit them on Vimeo.

OPENING SCENE (Original):
OPENING SCENE (My Version):
As you will see, my version of the opening sequence cuts out not one, but two unnecessary prologues (Erebor & Frodo). I'm going to rework the title card so the text pops out a bit more.

TROLLS (Original):
...
TROLLS (My Version):
Lots of small, unnoticeable edits here until you watch it alongside the original. I mostly focused on the troll silliness and some of the CGI dwarf acrobatics. I also included the troll hoard scene to show how it will directly lead to the company reaching Rivendell. This cuts out that whole ridiculous action scene with Radagast leading the Orcs on a wild goose chase (that does absolutely nothing, I should add).

GOBLINTOWN ESCAPE (Original): http://youtu.be/tE8KPmBYRrA
GOBLINTOWN ESCAPE (My Version): https://vimeo.com/94194888
This whole chase scene is cut down big time. There is no showdown with Gandalf and the Goblin King- we assume he falls to his death when Gandalf first shows up next to his throne.
 

eldusto84

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Ok I have some updates on this project! I figured it would be time to jump back into the fray after seeing "Tolkieneditor's" fanedit of the Hobbit start making rounds on the interwebs.

I glanced through some bits of his version and for the most part, we have the same idea. Cut down excessive and unnecessary scenes to make the film focus more on the main quest. We made a lot of similar cuts, along with several differing ones. However, there are some drawbacks to releasing this fanedit so early. "Tolkieneditor" unfortunately is using a DVD for  the first two films and a bootleg copy of the third film as his source  media. I've decided to work off of the Blurays, editing in 1080p with  5.1 audio. He'll have to re-edit everything if he ever wants to make a proper HD version.

In the months since I last posted on here, I removed my old fanedit clips on Vimeo, upgraded to Vimeo Plus and re-uploaded nice shiny HD versions of the clips. I'm about 95% done editing AUJ and DOS, and am now simply licking my chops waiting for Battle of Five Armies to be released on Bluray. It will be the toughest one to salvage of the three but I can't wait.

I've made a page on my website that gives more info on my fanedit,  including new video clips from the new version of the film. Check it out and let me know what you think!
 

MovieMaven

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Put two faneditors in the same room, and you'll get three different cutlists - and five different versions. :)

I think at least some of the White Council and Dol Guldur scenes need to stay, just to explain what Gandalf was up to when he was not with the expedition. Besides, if you must have a strong female character, that's Galadriel hands down. And Christopher Lee was so screwed over by the theatrical release of Return of the King that I don't want to see him cheated again.

And I seem to be in the minority, here at least, about really liking Radagast - he's funny and touching, and the bunny sled is a hoot.

Where I would cut to the bone and beyond, outside the main narrative, is all that hoohah about the Ringwraiths "buried" in the High Fells. They're "wraiths" not because they ever died (they didn't) but because they extended their lives so far beyond the natural span. They stretched themselves too thin, as Bilbo might have put it, and have lost their contact with the physical world when they're not getting power boosts from You Know Who. This is a bit metaphysical to try and explain, and it might be better to leave the impression that they were imprisoned un-live in their cells (presumably by the White Council).
 

yoshif8tures

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NOOOOOO! Those are the things that need to go! Radagast added NOTHING to the story, its best if he is cut.

My optimum edit would be a purist cut, it doesn't matter where Gandalf went and female characters aren't need one.
 

octoroxx

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Really loved the clips and I'm eagerly awaiting this edit! What you did with the Smaug stuff and the Barrel sequence look especially great.

However, I would really urge anyone planning a Hobbit cut to check out Kerr's Arkenstone edition. That edit has a lot of little cuts and subtle changes that really should be incorporated into almost any edit but are often ignored. It also shows how some material from the extended edition can really strengthen the film, even when going for a cut with a short running time. For example, I think you really ought to look at what Kerr did with the troll scene, the goblintown escape (there is none and it works fabulously),and the Rivendell sequences. As far as extended edition scenes go, planting the idea of Thorin's potential for madness in Rivendell is absolutely necessary imo, especially considering you cut out the prologue.

Obviously Kerr's cut keeps in a lot of the big things like Azog and Radagast that a 3-in-1 cut should obviously excise as much as possible, but the little cuts and trims as well as extended edition bits go a long way and are applicable to almost any Hobbit edit.
 
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